I’m an organ donor

This is a totally random post and pretty unrelated to the whole running, fitness, body image thing I have going here but sometimes we gotta branch out!

I am an organ donor. I fully believe that if I am no longer in need of my body, others should be able to take full advantage of what is healthy enough to be used. Easy enough considering that I will be chillin’ in Heaven and won’t actually feel anything that is done to my body.

Donating blood is another story. My mother has always been such a good example for me. As a nurse she realizes the importance of donating blood and does so regularly. I have mentioned before my distaste of hospitals. That includes needles and bloodmobiles. However, I force myself to overcome this uncomfortableness so that I can give the gift of life (and also get a voucher for a free pint of ice cream…yes please!!). I donated regularly while in college. At the end of grad school a series of events took place that kept me from donating blood. I got a tattoo, then went on accutane, then I had guillain-barre.

Enough time has passed that I decided to donate blood today. Because I am a tall woman, they always ask me to do a double red blood cell donation. It takes longer, but they say you actually end up leaving more hydrated then when you came in.

A few facts from The Red Cross website:

  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
  • The number of blood donations collected in the U.S. in a year: 16 million (2006).
  • The number of blood donors in the U.S. in a year: 9.5 million (2006).
  • The number of patients who receive blood in the U.S. in a year: 5 million (2006).

Even though I find it creepy as hell to get on a little bus with people being pricked by needles and then get pricked myself, I realize that if it were my mother, my husband, my sister, my nephew, anyone I loved in that hospital bed needing blood, I would be eternally grateful to the person who donated the blood they needed to keep their life.

I’m rocking the gauze at my desk today

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”  -Dr. Seuss

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9 comments

  1. I was so happy to see you wrote a post about organ donation. It is definitely one of the most selfless things someone can do and a topic that my husband and I hold close to our hearts. He lost his 7 yr old cousin several years ago due to a brain aneurysm and she was able to save a 7 lives through the donation of her organs and tissue. She was the only person under 16 in their state (Victoria, Australia) to donate in 2004, and only one of 6 children nationally who donated that year.

    Thanks also for the reminder about giving blood. This is definitely something I need to do more often!

      1. The fact that she was able to save so many lives I think helped with coping. Her parents (my UIL and AIL) founded the Zaidee Rainbow Foundation in her memory and have done great things in Australia for organ and tissue donation awareness. It’s really amazing how much influence a 7 year old has made on such a big country. =)

        If you’re interested, here’s a link to the organization: http://www.zaidee.org/

  2. I have tried to give blood, but I have really low blood pressure, so I end up fainting and my vein collapses before the bag fills. This happens even when laying down (which I always demand) if they take more than a vial or two for blood tests. I don’t have a fear of needles, I think my body goes into shock (like wtf is going on here!?!?) when I lose blood.

    Unfortunately giving blood is an ordeal for me and I haven’t tried since because I fail at it. I hope someday I can and I think its great you do!

  3. I am hoping to receive the gift of a double lung transplant this year or next due to a progressive lung disease I have. I am so grateful to those selfless people who think of others and donate either their own organs or those of a loved one. You’ll never know how much those of us who need transplants pray for you and your loving family members. It’s heartbreaking to lose someone but to know that their loss meant life for so many others has to make a huge difference. Thanks for all who list themselves as donors. May your lives be full.

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